Identity and Stillness

I’m back! I really must apologize for my unannounced absence. I am adamant about my belief that this blog should never be a job, so when I begin to grow thin with the time I have available to work on it, if I do not feel inspired, I refuse to force the words. But I’m back, and if you’re still around, please know that your support through this time means everything to me.

ice-crack

Breaking the ice is a mind game. (Photo credit: adstream)

Where do I begin after so long? As is with anything, after such a time of absence, a form of mental barrier is created. Breaking the ice of writing on this blog has become more than just an issue of inspiration or time, but of defeating a psychological obstacle. Imagine how you feel when trying to return to a barely–started project.

It’s not all bad, though. There are things I have discovered during my time away. For example, despite my efforts, I had come to identify with this blog. It became fuel for my ego – that I was successfully writing every day, and above all else, receiving significant traffic and praise. I don’t like that I was that way, but it was what it was.

finger print

Still stuck on my false ideas, I didn’t know who I was. How do you define such a thing as identity? (Photo credit: Cahaya Dalam Kegelapan)

As I struggled more and more each day to write, (Every single piece requires complete focus for up to several hours of time that I may not have) my ego was confronted with an issue – how was I going to keep my identity? I mention the ego, because it is the key factor in this entire equation – and it’s important to remember that one’s ego and identity aren’t really as healthy or important to one’s existence as one may think. It’s an amazing thing, how stepping back just a little changes your entire perspective – for the first time, I may have experienced what many adults seem to experience later on in life, when the vital question is finally asked – who the hell am I really? Without this blog to define me, was I becoming less meaningful/valuable as a person?

Unfortunately, I did what most people do: instead of dis-identifying with the things around me, I dove straight into them with the hopes that somehow I would feel better. By some great misconception, I had the idea that a damaged ego is a bad thing, and that it needed tending, it needed care. What’s worse, it wasn’t as though I was consciously thinking it, it was that society had ingrained that way of thinking as a truth within me. And if I think in that way, who doesn’t? We’re all so brain-washed by our own selves that we treat the ego like a broken arm. Yikes.

Stillness

Stillness. (Photo credit: david.ian.roberts)

Because of the way society is set up, particularly in the 21st century, the “real world” is literally run by the material. And with the right perspective, one would see that it is that material-based mindset that dictates far too much of our lives. And in many ways, it really is. Like I’ve written about before, there is always someone who’s more experienced, better, smarter, faster. This is a tough world we live in. But what we so easily forget is that these things that we use to fuel feelings of self-importance, these things that we use to judge others on intelligence or competence of any kind, don’t matter at all. We must remind ourselves that the truly important things in life, whatever they may be for you, are immeasurable – still, contentment, happiness, love – their importance is not diminished but forgotten in the huffing and puffing that has become life. I lost contact with one of those things, and in doing so, I learned something truly powerful:

Identity and inner-stillness cannot co-exist.

So that’s it from me today. I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, although I’d like to add that true appreciation and thankfulness is a year-around thing.

–mrprose 🙂

The Blame Game

Morning, I’ve got a good one for all of you today.

It’s quite easy to go around living your life blaming. It doesn’t matter what or who you blame, but as long as you are always performing the act of blaming, you never have to shoulder on responsibility. Many people do just that all their life – to avoid the harshness of the real world. Like I said, it isn’t difficult to live that way at all. Taking on responsibility requires facing reality, which is something many people do not have the courage to do. It certainly isn’t always the most inviting option, particularly in times of weakness.

Clouds of Honesty

Live honestly. Take ownership. (Photo credit: Mick E. Talbot)

So many live seeing the world as the cause of all of their faults. People choose to view things that way, for if they look at themselves as the reason, then they are truly at fault for not living the life they wish. And although that may be the reality, it is a cruel and bitter reality indeed.

The people, places or things around one can quite easily be blamed as the reason(s) why one’s life is unsatisfactory. In fact, some have gotten so good at doing this, at skirting the responsibilities of life, that they have made this sad way of living into a game.

The Blame Game.

It’s a game we all know, occasionally play, and hate to see others play. It’s a selfish game, played with one’s intentions well and truly above all others’. It’s a game ruled by weakness.

Pointing Finger Is Pointing

Pointing the finger is to focus solely on others. (Photo credit: Adam Crowe)

Why do so many choose to participate in this style of living? It’s an awful way to live, firstly, but what’s worse, it’s a game no one can ever win. It is a never-ending process of pointing the finger at anything but one’s self. You can never win, because responsibility is a part of life, and without it, one does not allow themselves the chance to freely live.

Why take on the painful truths when it is so much easier to find something/someone else to put at fault? Because integrity is left behind in the quest to constantly use others to avoid pain for one’s self. Honest living becomes an impossibility when one seeks to blame others for their faults. You are not being truthful with others, nor are you being truthful with yourself.

The biggest misconception, though, if even unsaid, is that the lack of responsibility will contribute to staying happy, as reality can be a very harsh place at times. But the truth is that doing this only moves one farther away from a place of happiness by suppressing crucial components of life. By relinquishing honesty and living selfishly. The blame game is a perfect way of staying in a little bubble, and makes it impossible to stay connected with the universe, or to live with value and awareness.

It is worth it to participate in the ruthless cycle of blame?

–mrprose

Limits Exist Solely In The Mind

We are our own greatest obstacle when it comes to what our limits are.

It’s easy to look around and find reasons to blame things for your limitations, your failures. In fact, it’s so easy, we all do it, if even just a little. It’s a simple escape from the hard reality that stares at us all the time, and we’re human after all. It’s something that needs to be recognized, because the lack of ownership people have of themselves and their actions is one of the leading contributors of why there are so many issues in our world today.

Ultimately, we are the creators of our own limits. As I have said before, I always find it fascinating how we run our lives, through our choices, our energy, our mindset. Questions of fate and freewill, of our thoughts manifesting things in our lives, of the way we choose to live, (with or without awareness, etc.) are always very intriguing to me. These questions pertain to our own selves – human beings are incredible mysteries with hidden wonders. But what’s more, once the answers to these questions are found through personal exploration, one’s life will change greatly – a clarity that did not previously exist will pervade throughout one’s existence.

Reflective Water

You already have the answers, just look at them. (Photo credit: Ricky Romero)

The methods of finding these answers, and even the answers themselves, vary greatly for each and every one of us. Always though, these keys to pure living lie within, and the further you go, the more you will find yourself. Superficial living doesn’t in anyway reinforce personal growth. You have to look deeper.

What I have found is that it is one’s own self that is the greatest preventer. I more than anyone or anything, control my life, and it is my own fears that dictate my boundaries. Perhaps the simplest example – I cannot ride roller coasters. They fill me with fear and thus I cannot bring myself to ride them. The fear comes from my mind. My soul, my “I” does not know fear. It is beyond material pains and pleasures.

Now I do not mean to say that the world does not limit us in any ways, for it does. We have incarnated into imperfect bodies after all. But it is not physical limits that I am addressing. It is not about how many miles one can run, but how far they can push themselves beyond pain. Pain, after all, is our greatest teacher on this planet, but that too exists only in the mind. Your soul does not know pain. But I believe we have come down to Earth to be in physical bodies for a reason. And perhaps that reason is to transcend limitations.

To be your full potential, your true self, you cannot not hold with you the restrictions of the physical. Sadly though, we all have them. They exist. Where do they come from? What manifests them? Limits exist solely in the mind.

At the same time, you create your opportunities. I believe the mind plays a part in that as well, manifesting things into being. Sending intentions. Staying positive. Finding the will to break through deterrents.

Limitations.

You are looking at a reflection of your fear. Walls provide a false security. (Photo credit: Alpha Beta Photography)

It’s quite amazing, really. And it creates this wonderful dichotomy of construction and destruction. We are architects, but we are also demolitionists. It all depends to how we choose to use the tools we have – our bodies, our intellect, our imagination. We can contribute to this limitless universe. We can be this limitless universe. Or we can enclose our worlds with mental walls of fear and anxiety. It is always your choice.

The walls surrounding you? They are yours. You can do what you wish with them.

–mrprose

You Create Your Opportunities

“Wait for the opportunity.”

Why? Why do you have to wait? I do not understand why it is so widely encouraged to live one’s life waiting, because let’s face it: opportunities that aren’t of one’s own doing are few and far between. Which means you’re bound to end up waiting most of your life in the hope that things will just happen. What’s worse is that I hear that very phrase be said almost on a daily basis.

patience

Patience is a beautiful thing. (Photo credit: I am marlon)

Now, don’t get me wrong – patience can be everything at times. To have patience is to be able to listen to what the world has to say. To endure in trying times. Patience goes hand in hand with acceptance (accepting, perhaps, that the world does not revolve around you), and thus I cannot stress its importance enough. What I mean to say is that having the ability to wait, to pause and slow down are incredibly valuable skills. You’ll live more in your own skin, more happily. And whether you like it or not, there are things in life that require patience, no matter what. Like discovering who you are.

dEsTination

Should you choose to, you can create the path to wherever it is that you want to go. (Photo credit: raghavvidya)

At the same time, always waiting for things to happen in your life won’t get you all that far. As a child, generally your responsibilities are minimal. As you grow older and enter high school, then college, your life is placed more and more in your own hands. That time when things just happened for you is suddenly gone – you become the one that has to make those things happen. How will you spend your time? Who will you spend your time with? It really is up to you how the rest of your life will turn out.

If you want to get somewhere, accomplish something, complete this, finish that, whatever it is, you have to go do it. It’s that simple. A great many of us have this fantasy that eventually we’ll just realize our goals if we just wait long enough, and the truth is, that never happens.

I have always believed in the power of thinking and intention to manifest things in one’s life.

Jones Street San Francisco

That house could be yours if you set yourself up to make it yours. (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

I really do believe it. But a large part of thought manifestation is that not only is one usually wishing for something to happen, but they are also contributing to making that thing happen. For example, if everyday I imagined myself sitting in a beautiful new home, not only am I hoping it will happen, but I am also going to do my best to make it happen – work hard, save up, etc. If you want it, you will make that house become a reality.

This ties into my piece about experiencing life – the best way to experience things is to just dive in, to go for it. You have to go and make whatever it is that you want, happen. Do you want to make it big in the entertainment world? Do your research, take classes, audition. Talk to the people that can help you. If you have any aspirations, any goals, any ambition whatsoever, it is you that must find the means to make it happen. You are the one that creates your own opportunities.

This is exactly why I always tell people that the more open they are in their life, the greater and more numerous their chances become. As you open your awareness, as you explore the unknown in the world and within yourself, you will become a better person, someone more completely. It’s because you’re finding yourself, yes. But it’s also because you can do so much more with your life, the quality of your living becomes richer.

You are the orchestrator of the symphony of your life. If you want something, you are the one to make it happen.

–mrprose

Block One Emotion, And The Rest Suffer

I talk about emotion a lot. It could be because I’m exploring what exactly it is. I think people as a whole are beginning to explore emotion more too. And the exploration of something like that, something as powerful as the feelings that we feel, is enormous. It’s massive. It’s scary, for sure, but that’s because it’s still hidden in uncharted waters that are just waiting to be charted.

Emotion plays a central role in our lives, whether we choose to express it or compress it. I realize that much of my inspiration derives from my feelings. It’s just a major part of being human, of feeling and seeing life.

NO

It seems like sometimes nobody wants to hear you. They just want the pretty little, docile you. Well that’s not really you, and honestly, you shouldn’t listen to them. (Photo credit: nathangibbs)

As I’ve written about before, a lot of emotion is tabooed in modern society, because it isn’t safe and it certainly isn’t comfortable. How many of us are okay with open displays of grief or anger? Not many. But both anger and grief are a part of each and every one of us. When we deny that to ourselves, we deny ourselves from expression.

So as a result, we try to hide the feelings we don’t like within ourselves, and discourage displays of those feelings from others. If we can smile and laugh all the time, why ever not? Unfortunately, nobody can laugh and smile all the time. Not legitimately, at least.

The thing is, we don’t realize that all of our emotions are interconnected, and when one suffers, when one is plugged away rather than allowed the freedom to be released, the rest are affected. Somebody once told me that every part of the body is connected. It makes perfect sense, really – the muscles rely on the brain, the brain relies on the blood, the blood relies on the heart, etc. When you’re sick, the stability of your entire body is impacted. And I found it particularly interesting that oftentimes cancer for a certain part of the body ends up spreading to other parts and damages them as well. Being that I find so much interest in balances, it intrigues me that when even just one part of the system falls out of place, the rest are influenced negatively.

EMOTION

Emotion (Photo credit: Helen_Huynh)

It’s exactly the same way for emotion. You cannot express in one way if you suppress in another. Acceptance comes into play here – can you accept your feelings, even the uncomfortable/painful/difficult ones? If you can, the equilibrium is allowed a chance to survive. If you can’t, the equilibrium cannot be. It’s that simple.

And as I’ve said before, emotion can be everything sometimes. It’s what makes life so sweet, so exciting, so unpredictable. For the most part, it’s of our control. Emotion to me is a teacher on how to live moving with the flow rather than against it.

All emotion is equal, important, and felt for a reason. Emotion has it’s time and place, certainly, but it should never be pushed too far aside, because when even one emotion is suppressed, all of the rest suffer.

–mrprose

Experience Life

Live life. Experience it.

What does that mean exactly? Aren’t we all in a way? We’re all living, right?

I don’t know how much living many of us are actually doing. If doing the same thing everyday counts, then I suppose. If always staying in your comfort zone qualifies, then I guess so. But I don’t see things that way, and I’m starting to realize what actual living is.

Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think the number one thing I’ve learned while having this blog is rather simple, actually. I speak of all kinds of things, things I’m exploring. Life, existence, meaning, philosophy, I’m moving towards theology… the list goes on. As it was once put:

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe”
–Gustave Flaubert

I agree with that. I do believe I am discovering what I believe. I feel like I have a more solid view on life, for sure. It’s fantastic, I’m rather happy with where I’m going (I know, it’s ego, but cut me some slack!). I feel as though I’m looking at life in more intelligent ways, in ways I didn’t previously. Here’s the thing, though – I’m not sure how much any of that really matters in the long run.

If I don’t live, truly live the things I’ve learned.

Sample of old russian сensorship. Book "N...

Books are great, and they can teach you a lot. But they don’t have a tenth of their impact if you don’t practice what you’re reading. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a lesson that has taken me quite some time to truly understand, and even now I’m certain I have a lot left to learn. The example that comes to mind is that I started reading self-help books early on, and that may be the reason why I opened my eyes from such a young age. The difficulty I had with those books, the content, was not that I didn’t enjoy it, because I very much did – to the point of feeling drawn to the whole subject. I struggled I had was with translating the learning into my life, and that was a key element that was not addressed directly in the books. How am I supposed to get to that level of spirituality? Surely we all have our own way to go about it.

Day 15/365 - Math Problems

Thank goodness I learned how to do ridiculously difficult math. Now I may live a fulfilling life. (Photo credit: Kevin H.)

The more I think of it, the more I realize that it’s true for most things in life. As I wrote just a few days ago, you learn a lot in school, sure, but what do you do with the information? Nobody tells you, nor does anyone seem to know. Which is an immediate indicator that there is something off. What am I supposed to do with something I do not know how to use? I think the number one thing we should keep in mind is this: can I use this information/knowledge/learning/skill? If not, it better be of some sort of enjoyment to you (e.g. playing the guitar), because beyond that, it’s useless.

So it’s easy to hide behind that excuse to stay where everything feels safe. You or I can wait until someone will come around and tell us everything we need to know, but that’s not going to happen. Plus, you wouldn’t learn anything.

That’s why I say to experience life. Dive into things, head first. Make mistakes, mess up a little bit. Learn about whatever the hell it is that you’re doing, by doing it. I know I’m not the best person to make this example, but the same goes for parenting. There really isn’t an instruction manual, and I’ve seen my parents learn as they go (I have a younger brother, which helps a bit to see this process a little bit). They have certainly become better leaders as I’ve grown up, I’ve witnessed it first-hand.

I see the same thing with business owners, with authors, with actors. You’ve just gotta do it if you want to truly learn, to truly experience life. I started an unsuccessful blog some time last year, but I never got it going because I didn’t invest. Maybe I was afraid, maybe I wasn’t ready to learn just yet. Whatever it was, it changed when I tried again several months later, and now here I am. It wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t make a promise to myself to commit and be okay with a little failure, a little pain.

So the things that I write about and the blog itself really are teachers to me on how to live. A theme for the last few days has been selflessness (or rather selfish selflessness), and I physically had to do stuff for others without directly impacting myself to really get the beginning of understanding on the whole subject.

Who likes a hypocrite? Live what you preach, and preach what you live. I know some some pretty famous people in history that did just that….

Get off the couch from your TV, from your self-help book, and try something new. Put down your plan and go for it. Do something you haven’t done, something you’ve been talking about doing for a while. Experience something new.

Experience life.

–mrprose

I’m Glad My Life Isn’t Perfect

You choose what your outlook on life is.

I could be really thankful about not starving to death right now. I could be really jealous that I’m not world famous. Or I could just focus on the beautiful little pieces of my life that have nothing to do with anyone else but me. It depends on the angle one takes in how they choose to view their life.

Nobody else is exactly like me, and thus nobody else has my life. And boy, with a positive perspective, I truly do have a great life, a unique life. I feel intelligent, I’m exploring and discovering. We all have our strengths. So why should I (or you) feel unhappy about my life?

Because humans naturally compare with others. I want what THEY have, and I wish I had

Money

You’re looking at a wad of happiness, if our judgements are anything to go by. (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

HIS haircut, or HER smile, or THEIR popularity, or THAT PERSON’S wealth. You don’t even have to know them. Just to know what they have, and a judgement/reaction to it. I want what I can’t have.

We all do it – identify something another has, and immediately wish it was our own. We all know what jealousy and envy feel like. Frankly, it sucks. But it’s a part of being human. Yes, when it comes to blogging, sometimes I wish my blog were more like those amazing, popular blogs. Do you realize how many readers read every one of their words? How can I not want that??

In one moment, I went from loving my life, to yearning for it to be different, for it to be more. Out goes my appreciation, my thankfulness that I am who I am, much less that I’m not starving to death. Why did this happen?

It happens, because our eyes are glued on others. We target and focus on the things we wish we had. Maybe we think those things would make us happier. Maybe we think those things would make life easier. Maybe they do. But there is one thing that we have all thought, regarding these material things, a thought that is completely untrue. A thought that needs to be banished from our minds as soon as possible:

The idea that these things make our life be more. It’s such an easy misconception to make. With a better car, I would be living a richer life. With a prettier wife, I would be living a more pleasurable life. I know that some people live viewing things that way, and I’m here to tell you that you can’t be more wrong.

Kim Kardashian

There’s Kim Kardashian… with all her fame and wealth, she should be living in a state of perpetual bliss, right? (Photo credit: BiggerPictureImages.com)

The quality of your life, the true essence of it, is not decided by material objects. Yes, we live in a material world, but I believe we’re here to learn about stuff that isn’t physical at all. I think you know what I’m talking about.

Quality of life isn’t based on who has the most. I know low-income families that are infinitely happier and closer as people than wealthy households. So I would say their quality of living is actually far higher. It’s the stuff you can’t buy that makes all the difference. And I know that my family has the emotional wealthiness, the spiritual richness that is completely foreign to families like the Kardashians. I believe we’re living more emotionally and spiritually rich life, simple as that.

That’s why I think we need to keep our eyes on our own feet, on our own journey, more

Christian Louboutin Minibout: black leather mi...

Christian Louboutin heels. Not too shabby (although I prefer, I don’t know, vans?) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

than anyone else’s – whether those feet have shiny Christian Louboutin shoes, sandals, or are bare all together. It’s our own progress that our attention and focus should be on, not on obsessing over others. Your life will improve if you dig deep, if you’re always asking questions and exploring, if you’re not fixating on others or comparing what you have. Shiny shoes won’t do a thing (yes I know they look nice, but will they help you grow? I thought so). I believe material pleasures should only be indulged upon for yourself, with balance. I like looking nice, but not because I want to look better than Beckham, although I wouldn’t mind that…. Argh, you get what I mean, moving on!

I guess the point of this piece is to say that I’m glad my life isn’t perfect. The obstacles I’ve had to overcome to get where I am now have taught me so much. It’s about the journey, not the destination, right?They’ve made me who I am, and to be ungrateful about my life is to forget about what a beautiful person I am. I honestly think I’m happier now than if I was a child star on some TV show. To further add to my point, I heard of many of them later becoming depressed and reckless in their lives.

I am learning to be happy with my existence, with my own journey’s progress, and no one else’s. It’s hard to do, I like to compare. I feel jealous sometimes, yes, but I’m trying to change that. At least I’m not alone in this struggle.

I’m glad my life isn’t perfect. Because I know that deep down, I’m perfect anyway, within my own imperfections.

–mrprose